Office News: Healthcare Proxy Explained

Recently, my husband was hospitalized and then transferred to a nursing home for additional care. When I arrived at this new facility and asked if I could receive his current medication list so she asked me if I was his healthcare proxy. I indicated that no, my sister, who is also an RN (at a nursing home), is his healthcare proxy and so the nurse told me that she is the only one who could request and get his current medication list. I was initially surprised because at the previous medical center I asked and received this list without question. Don't assume, because you are the wife that you automatically get this info.

I had to ask my sister to call the facility, tell them you give your permission to have me receive his medicaiton list, even though she is the healthcare proxy.They coplied and I got the list. I'm very happy that my sister is the healthcare proxy because of her knowledge and experience with the nursing home end of the business. 

Get info from your probate lawyer. Ask questions and be sure to have a will drawn up and be prepared. You never know what the future will bring so please be prepared. Ask questions. Find answers. Call Alex Matulewicz at 508-660-0331. He has the answers.


When mental incapacity arises, attention is often directed to the asset management problems, but equal and sometimes greater problems related to health care decisions are also presented. Perhaps too much attention had been placed on the ultimate decision of terminating life-support systems.

That is a decision you must make for yourself and you might decide, on the contrary, that your agent should make every effort to keep you alive. However, there are many other decisions which you should be considering as they relate to your personal care during a disability which have nothing to do with death, but which are important to your care during the long-term disability.

Examples of Authority Usually Granted in a Health Care Proxy:

  1. To have access to any and all medical and related information and records.
  2. To disclose your medical and related information to others.
  3. To employ and discharge medical and related personnel on your behalf.
  4. To consent or refuse to consent to medical care, on your behalf.
  5. To consent or refuse to consent to psychiatric care, including the right to voluntarily commit you to a psychiatric care facility if it becomes necessary.
  6. To provide you with appropriate relief from pain.
  7. To arrange for your care and lodging in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice.
  8. To do anything else which may be appropriate in your sepcific circumstances which you should be prepared to state explicitly.

Call Alex Matulewicz today at 508-660-0331.